by lkazantzis
Last updated 6 years ago

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Star Light, Star Bright

How is the intensity of light affected by distance?

Observations: I saw many interesting things happening during my experiment. First, I noticed that the lamp I used to shine light was also producing a lot of heat. The farther away I stood from the lamp, the less heat I could feel. I also saw that the light got more diffuse and more dim the farther away it was. I also noticed that if I used a shade on the lamp then the light did not travel as far as it did without the shade.

Conclusion: In the experiment, increasing the distance between a light source and an object will decrease the intensity of the light. The original hypothesis was that if the distance between the light source and the object is increased, then the light intensity will go down. The results of the experiment proved the hypothesis to be correct. There were several mistakes made during the experiment that could have affected the results. First, the ambient light present in the room during the experiment could have affected the readings taken from the light meter. This ambient light was not accounted for in the data, and therefore probably increased the light readings more than if there were no ambient light. Also, there were two different lightbulbs used during the experiment. One was 40-watts and one was 45-watts. This difference probably produced a slight variation in the light meter readings. A future experiment could be done using no ambient light and a consistent light source. Several important questions became apparent at the conclusion of this experiment. Additionnal testing could help to find out how different lampshades affect the diffusion of light across a room. Several different materials could be used to test how light diffusion is affected.

by: Leah Kazantzis

Want to know more about how the intensity of starlight affects the night sky? Click here!

Hypothesis: If the distance from a light source increases, then the intensity of that light will decrease.

Materials: ChairLampWhite posterboardMeter stick


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